East of the city of Utrecht, about an hour’s walk from the city center, are the Amelisweerd and Rhijnauwen estates. It is a beautiful natural area with two mansions and a castle. The area belongs to the city of Utrecht and is a national monument. Utrecht is a student city and this area is very popular with young people.
The Amelisweerd and Rhijnauwen estate contains three estates:
1. Oud Amelisweerd estate – Museum mansion Old Amelisweerd
2. Nieuw Amelisweerd estate – Mansion New Amelisweerd
3. Rhijnauwen Estate – Castle Rhijnauwen – Hostel StayOkay Rhijnauwen Bunnik
1. Estate Mansion Old Amelisweerd
Mansion Oud Amelisweerd, together with the carriage house and the park, belongs to one of the most special Dutch national monuments. The original but vulnerable Chinese paper wallpaper from the 18th century is still present in the mansion.
➔ Museum Amelisweerd, Koningslaan 3, Bunnik.
2. Estated Mansion New Amelisweerd
3. Castle Rhijnauwen
The ancient Castle Rhijnauwen was built in the 12th century. If you have the time I suggest you spend at least one night in the Stayokay Hostel Rhijnauwen. You will have a stately night’s rest in the forest. This hostel is uniquely placed in a forest area on the banks of the river Kromme Rijn, less than 5 km from the city of Utrecht. And above all, they charge you a really nice price.
→ Want to stay in the hostel? You can book it here: Stay Okay Hostel Utrecht
Around the mansions and the castle is a lovely forest and you know what? Clarice van Houten grew up in this forest. Clarice is a famous Dutch actress who plays the role of Melisande also called “The Red Woman” in the popular TV series Game of Thrones.
Walking from Utrecht to the Mansions Amelisweerd and Castle Rhijnauwen
It is possible to walk from the Central Railway Station Utrecht to Rhijnauwen, just follow the Oude Gracht and then go east along the river “Kromme Rijn”. You walk along the bending river into the forest Amelisweerd. From the central station, Utrecht to Castle Rhijnauwen is about 7 kilometers. Renting a bicycle and touring the countryside is also a very good idea.
History of Amelisweerd and Rhijnauwen
The history of Amelisweerd goes way back to the year 1224 when the estate Amelisweerd (Ridderhofstad) was built. The former castle Amelisweerd was destroyed and rebuilt many times. In the Middle Ages, Knight Amelis divided the place for his three sons into the Old Amelisweerd, New Amelisweerd, and Rhijnauwen.
National Monument Estates Amelisweerd and Rhijnauwen
The estates Amelisweerd and Rhijnauwen are national monuments, they belong to the city of Utrecht. The domain is covered with a lovely forest. Ancient trees cover the shores of a clear river and many small waterways that smoothly curl through the landscape.
King Lodewijk Napoleon
From 1808 till 1810 during the French occupation, King Lodewijk Napoleon owned the estate Amelisweerd, he had big plans for the property but they were never realized.
The River Kromme Rijn
The Kromme Rijn is a small but fast-flowing river that offers opportunities for fishing, swimming, and rowing. It is known for its scenic beauty and serene surroundings, making it a popular spot for recreational activities such as fishing and rowing. Swimming is also enjoyed by some, but it’s important to note that water quality and safety regulations should be considered before swimming in the river. Overall, the Kromme Rijn provides a peaceful and picturesque environment for outdoor enthusiasts to engage in these water-related activities.
Make your trip more special and rent a canoe or electric boat at Rijnstroom Rentals. Cruise the river “Kromme Rijn” (Rhine) upstream through the forest Amelisweerd. Make a stop by the museum Amelisweerd and afterwards, you row to Restaurant De Veldkeuken or Teahouse Pancake Restaurant Rhijnauwen.
➔ Rijnstroom boat rentals: Weg Naar Rhijnauwen 2, Utrecht
Restaurant and Bakery De Veldkeuken |The Field kitchen
Halfway through your walk, you will pass the Restaurant “De Veldkeuken”, which is a very trendy, nice, and popular place to go. You can have a nice coffee or some fresh ginger tea with a piece of cheesecake or carrot cake. And if you are in “De Veldkeuken”, translated as “The Field Kitchen” buy some bread, you won’t regret it. Bread baked like this is the way bread should taste. Your tongue doesn’t know what hit it.
Teahouse Pancake restaurant Rhijnauwen
Theehuis Rhijnauwen(Teahouse /Pancake restaurant) is near Castle Rhijnauwen. If you visit Theehuis Rhijnauwen make sure you eat the specialty of the house, a Rhijnauwen wrap, it’s my favorite.
➔ Pancake Restaurant Rhijnauwen, Rhijnauwenselaan 16, Bunnik
Hostel Stay Okay Castle Rhijnauwen, Utrecht
Reservation is necessary Hostel Stayokay Utrecht, Rhijnauwenselaan 14, Bunnik
→ Book your stay here: Stay Okay Hostel Utrecht.
Fort Rhijnauwen – UNESCO
Fort Rhijnauwen is part of the Dutch Water Defense Line. The fortress is located near Theehuis Rhijnauwen, on special days you can visit the fort.
This is why you should visit Amelisweerd and Rhijnauwen.
All in all, the enchanting expanse of Amelisweerd and Rhijnauwen, with the meandering Kromme Rijn river, lush woodlands, bountiful orchards, meticulously tended vegetable gardens, a stately castle, historic estates adorned with charming outbuildings, and the formidable presence of the Rhijnauwen fortress, weaves a tapestry of wonder and delight, inviting visitors to embark on a journey through a bucolic paradise. This verdant sanctuary beckons to be explored, promising a harmonious union of nature’s splendor and historical grandeur, a treasure trove of moments to cherish.